S.T.E.M. is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Our SOAR program focuses on these subjects to help youth gain the skills and interest required to fulfill today's growing industries and tomorrow’s high demand of skilled individuals in these fields.
STEM Elements Have Always Been A Part of Our After School Program
Activities focusing on different S.T.E.M. elements have always been integrated into our daily program offerings, but with recent stats showing American youth falling further behind in science and math skills it became apparent that we needed to do more.
Since Summer 2012, we have offered two science-related theme weeks during our day camp programs: Go Green and Mad Science. The theme weeks made science fun and cool. Members learned new concepts and enhanced their reasoning skills without feeling like they were in school or learning a lesson. Activities included:
· Go speed Racer! Balloon Rocket Powered Cars-members investigated Newton’s Laws of Motion by designing, building and racing the fastest and coolest rocket powered racing cars.
· Striped Celery-Have you ever eaten blue celery? This cool experiment taught members how plants drink when they’re thirsty.
· Skeleton Art-Members took turns tracing the outline of their body on butcher paper and learning about the structure of the digestive and skeletal systems through drawing.
· Home Run Derby-Members explored which type of balls and which sports equipment allow the ball to go the furthest.
The Need for SOAR Youth Programs
In the San Diego region:
Less than 40% of our high school graduates meet the math and science requirements for admission to the University of California and California State systems.
Our students have lower achievement scores in S.T.E.M. than almost all other students in the nation.
In the United States:
The math and science achievement and the rate of S.T.E.M. degree attainment are inconsistent with a nation considered the world leader in scientific innovation.
For 15-year-old students, the U.S. ranked 28th in math literacy and 24th in science literacy.